LONG serving Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) president Tšeliso Motloheloa has retained his post after he was re-elected during the association’s elections at Setsoto Stadium yesterday.
Motloheloa urged his sole challenger, the former secretary general Mokone Moshe by two votes after polling 17 votes.
Also a FIDE Chess in Education Commission member, has been leading the association since 2008. He has been holding the FIDE post since 2018.
In 2016, he was suspended from the presidency for allegedly misusing the federation’s funds from the World Chess Federation. He was only reinstated towards the end of 2018 after the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence
Motloheloa yesterday promised to work hard in promoting unity in chess.
“I have nothing much to say but chess people have elected their committee, which includes people from all the camps and that means they want unity,” Motloheloa said.
“Some told me that they will not give their votes to people based on camps but rather based on their respective competences. My wish is to see the committee working as a team and develop the sport.”
The association’s constitution does not limit the number of terms to be served by a leader and Motloheloa said regardless of the performance of this new committee, this will his last term in office.
He intends to invest in training leaders as that is one of the missing components.
“We have good players but we do not have people who can lead, I am going to work on that.”
Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, the association would have already called for its general elections in March this year.
Among his achievements since 2008 is that the association’s constitution was registered with the Law Office and the organisation was also recognised by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC), African Chess Federation (ACC) and FIDE.
The federation is also running a developmental project called MiniChess Programme aimed at introducing chess to young children.
In 2014, the federation for the first time sent two athletes (Ramokotjo Lekau and Masilo Mafube) to the World Amateur Chess Championship in Singapore while the country has been taking part in the World Chess Olympiad since that same year.
On behalf of the outgoing committee, Moshe congratulated the winners but warned them that they have lots of work ahead of them.
They shouldn’t sit in the office to achieve their personal interests or seek revenge on people who were challenging them in the elections.
“The new committee members should now understand that they are there to serve all the people in chess including their previous opponents. I also want to make them aware that there is a lot of work on their tables as far as the growth of chess is concerned,” Moshe said.
In announcing his intention to stand for the elections last month, Moshe said he had been in the association’s leadership since 2008 and had contributed a lot to its growth. However, he now wanted to become its president because he had realised that being a secretary, one doesn’t have the final say and all his good initiatives and plans had been in vain if the president was against them.
Motloheloa will be deputised by Teboho Cekwane while the new secretary general is Tlhoriso Morienyane. He will be deputised by the former public relations officer Khiba Selatela.
Theko Khanyapa will be the players’ representative. Mohlekoa Mokemane, ‘Maretsepile Malemoha, Motlatsi Motlhokoa are the additional members while the new treasurer is Mphetole Mona.